With such technological advancements its possible for film makers to create such scenes which are totally jaw dropping and a whole other level. And Hollywood surely knows how to use this technology to good use. However, if the CGI effects are done badly, there’s no sparing the film either.
What is surprising however is that many directors choose to shoot mind-boggling scenes without any CGI whatsoever. And we as the audience can never spot the difference!
Practical effects were quite prevalent before computer graphics came in the picture and you’d be surprised just how often they are still used by directors.
Here are 10 scenes from famous Hollywood films that did not use CGI:
The hallway fight scene featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, which looks gravity defying, is one of the prime examples of physical effects. Christopher Nolan (the director) constructed two rotating hallways for the scene and the actors were suspended on wires. This intricate scene took 3 weeks to film.
2. Thor: The Dark World
Superhero films are full of visual effects, so this scene from Thor: The Dark World is quite an unexpected addition to this list. There’s a scene in the film in which a truck is seen levitating from the ground and rotating. While many of us thought this was computer graphics, the truck was actually attached on a bar from a giant truck and made to rotate.
The scene where Matthew McConaughey is suspended in the fifth dimension and he can see his daughter through the strings was done without any effects. It was a three-storey set where McConaughey was suspended on wires!
4. Jurassic Park
This film is one of the best examples of combining actual props with graphics. Back then, CGI wasn’t as developed as it is today and so the team working on the dinosaurs created man sized raptor suits and stuntmen rehearsed for weeks to get the movements just right. The scene where the raptors are after the kids in the kitchen still looks haunting.
The film was made back in the days when CGI wasn’t as advanced. In one of the scenes, a bus has to jump off from one flyover to another covering the gap between the two. This scene was done by using a ramp to give the bus a tangent so it could launch and then land perfectly.
6. The Dark Knight
The car chase through the Gotham city was certainly one of the best moments from the film. The Joker is being chased by Batman here and the climactic moment where we see an 18-wheeler truck flip on the road was actually shot on the streets of Chicago. The crew used a real vehicle to film the scene which was modified so the upward motion could be achieved.
The fight sequence with James Bond on top of a train did not use any CGI either. The actors were attached to the train with a thin wire and they actually performed the action scene on top of a moving train. This was a highly dangerous stunt that could have been performed against green screen but doing it on actual location made it so much more authentic.
8. Independence Day
The most popular scene of the film is certainly the where the fire throughout the city is expanding but instead of it going up in flames, the fire increases sideways. There was no CGI used to shoot this scene. The makers constructed a model of the set and kept in horizontally and lit it on fire. The camera was placed strategically and that’s how we saw this mind blowing scene.
9. The Dark Knight Rises
In the opening sequence of the film, Bane with his gang captures a CIA plane, crashes it and then jumps off to another plane. Stuntmen actually performed this scene by jumping off from a moving plane. The exterior shots of the CIA plane were shot by hanging it from a helicopter. An actual aircraft was dropped from the sky at the end of this scene. Nolan shot this scene in 2 days.
10. The Amazing Spider-Man
The Spider-Man series used computer effects to show the superhero jumping from one building to another so this series of films tried something different. The film had stuntmen jumping from buildings and were hung from 60 feet with just a wire.
I bet you are astonished. All praises for the directors and mostly the people who gave all those shots.